Thursday, August 15, 2019

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 182

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

I believe in a God that hears prayers and answers them. I've witnessed the miraculous gift of answered prayer. And, I want to pray for you. I've started weekly Power of Prayer post every Thursday. We are now on week 182. If you are needing prayer in an area of your life, please leave a comment and I'll commit to pray for your need or request. You can be as general or as specific as you like. Whether it be for healing, salvation, finances, emotions, or another area of life, I'd like to lift it up in prayer.

For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts.
–1 Thessalonians 2:4

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Petmate: Buy One, Get One Free Grooming Accessory

Visit Petmate.com
PetMate is passionate about pets and their families. As a worldwide leader of solutions and excellence in the pet industry for over 50 years, they’re committed to providing fun, trusted, quality products to enhance the lives of pets.

From now until August 17th, 2019 buy 1 Grooming Accessory, Get 1 FREE at Petmate.com! Use code GROOM to save. 

Restrictions: Second item must be of equal or lesser value. Excludes sale items; cannot be combined with other offers.


This post contains affiliate links.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Sleepover with the Kiddos

Zoe drawing pictures inside the camper


For almost a year now my great-nieces and granddaughter have nagged asked about staying the night at my house.  It's not that I didn't want them to; It's just that I never got around to planning the actual date.  They had what we'd do all planned out, from watching The Croods movie to them sleeping in my mother's old daybed.

Gia made sure Trader Jimmy got his fair share of attention.

I finally bit the bullet and quit putting them off.  So, one evening after church, I brought Gia, Zoe, and Rahjae home with me to spend the night.  Not one of the original plans they came up with came into fruition, but we had a blast regardless.

can't go wrong with a game of UNO

Of course, I stacked up on snacks high in sugar.  We ate cupcakes, marshmallows, Fruit Roll-Ups and potato chips.  Jason grilled some meat to balance it out.  UNO, Candyland, and Hank's Twisted Challenge were games we played several times.  For the most part, the girls entertained themselves with ghost stories, Monster High dolls, and sketching pictures.

Three rambunctious girls inside this camper....Help me now!

The coolest part of the sleepover (or at least what the girls thought) was that Jason set our pop-up camper up in the yard.  It was their own little getaway house.  I ended up sleeping there with them and I'd like to say it went well but I'd be semi-sorta lying.  My mid-40s body hated me when I woke up with aches and pains from sleeping all cockeyed.  Rahjae and Zoe crammed their little bodies in the bed with me so I didn't have a lot of leg room (or head room, or elbow room). 

The girls finally got their request and it was actually quite a good time.  Next time I won't wait a year to set another sleepover date.


TVStoreOnline.com Pop Culture Themed Hoodies - Review and Giveaway


School season is in full swing and parents are in the process of purchasing new apparel for kids.  TV Store Online feeds your TV and movie obsession with its classic TV and movie shirts and memorabilia. You'd be hard pressed not to find a shirt or memorabilia featuring one of your favorite shows or movies.  I've received pajamas and sweaters from the company and have been nothing but impressed.  Whether you're shopping for back-to-school or want a new cool piece added to your wardrobe, I highly suggest TVStoreOnline.com.  The Detroit-based movie, television, and comic book apparel and costume company has been seen on Good Morning America, Live with Kelly and Ryan, The Today Show, and The Ellen Show.


I grew up watching Mighty Morphin Power Rangers as a tween and thought the live-action movie was pretty phenomenal.  So, I was stoked when I received a Power Rangers Costume Hoodie Sweatshirt from TVStoreOnline.com.  There's the option to choose from six colors, and I went with pink.  Officially licensed, this hoodie will have you looking like your favorite Power Ranger!  

Made of high-quality material, this hoodie will keep you warm whether you want to wear it as a hoodie or zip it all the way up to morph into your own version of a Power Ranger.  The hood resembles the mask of the official characters.  There are mesh openings at the eyes so you can still see even when your face is covered.  I ordered the hoodie in size XL which is the size I normally wear.  This one in particular was a little snug and fit more like a large.  Other than that, it's a high-quality hoodie.


TV Store Online Social Media accounts:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TvStoreOnline/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TVStoreOnline
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/TVStoreOnline/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tvstoreonline/


Win It!

One person will win a Pop Culture Themed Hoodie of choice from TVStoreOnline.com.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

I received product for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

First Winners For August


A few of my giveaways have ended and the winners have been randomly drawn.

The winner of the I Don't Like To Eat Ants children's book giveaway is #36, dlhaley.

The winner of the Sea Glass Summer children's book giveaway is #22, Shirley.

The winner of the Slammers Snacks giveaway is #1, aperry.

The winner of the Starworld book giveaway is #1, tdk.

The winner of The Root Beer Float Challenge game giveaway is #14, Leela.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered.  Keep entering to win!

Monday, August 12, 2019

The Musical Adventures of Grace: Winter - Book Review


Series Overview:

The Musical Adventures of Grace book series was developed by a former Physician Assistant ,Ken Korber, who made a dramatic career change to storybook author after 30 years in the healthcare industry. Today, Ken's published writings have led to the formation of The Healthy Music Project. This program uses books and characters as educational tools for building reading skills, appreciating elements of music, and advocating wellness for the general public, and with in at-risk vulnerable communities of children and adults.

Grace is the main character from the four part series "The Musical Adventures of Grace," and was inspired by his son, a cellist, about grace notes – “minor notes that are sometimes used by the orchestrato give the music more ‘color." The story follows a grace note that is transformed into a little girl who, then, goes on to make new musical friends. Throughout Grace's adventures, she, and her crew, learn about the magical things that happen when you create, play instruments, sing, and listen to all kinds of music.

another book in the series

Book Overview:

Age Range: 5 - 6 years
Paperback: 28 pages
Publisher: Tate Publishing (September 15, 2015)

This Winter story represents the first of four seasonal adventures where a grace note is transformed into a little girl through the magic of a holiday concert, because she wants to know where the music goes after the notes are played. In the three stories that follow, Grace meets new friends and learns more about the magical things that can be accomplished through creating, playing, and listening to all kinds of music.



My Review:

If you have a young child interested in music, The Musical Adventures of Grace book series may capture their attention.  There are four books, one for each season.  I received the Winter book.  It tells of a place called Piperstown whose people are excited to be a part of a music concert.  The orchestra was especially happy this year because a famous conductor was going to lead the concert.  Within all the joy was a sad musical note who wanted to stand out just like all the larger, more important notes.  With luck, the grace note was allowed to be played several times during the concert.  When the event was over, all the grace notes turned into a girl named Grace who happily figured out the answer to where notes go after they are played.

This is a short story with a lot of whimsy.  I wasn't sure what exactly a grace note was when reading this book so I looked up the definition.  It is an extra note added as an embellishment and not essential to the harmony or melody.  In this story, the grace notes are given as big of a role as all the other notes.  In the end, the notes magically form into a little girl.  This is the first book in the 4-part series and the girl who was formed from the music notes goes on to create more adventures in the other three books.

I received product for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Lunch Pets - Review and Giveaway


It's time to start shopping for back-to-school supplies!  My kids are older and most are graduated but that doesn't stop me from getting excited about seeing the school supplies.  I like to see the designs and new ideas.  If your child is going to be taking lunch to school, or an extracurricular activity, you'll want to check out Lunch Pets.  These huggable, plush pals are the perfect snacking companions for a child on-the-go. From school to dance practice and everything in between, Lunch Pets are sure to keep your child smiling and their lunch tasty.


Lunch Pets are furry, machine-washable lunch bags that feature an easy open flap to securely hold food, and insulated storage to keep lunch fresh.  The Pets paws even snap together to make a handle or attach to your child's bike.  

There are four Lunch Pets styles available: 
SnackyCat (purple cat)
 Yumicorn (pink unicorn)
 HungryPup (blue puppy)
Munchosaur (green dinosaur)

(backside of Yumicorn Lunch Pet with opening showing insulated pouch)

You almost can't tell that these are lunch bags.  The cute characters look like stuffed animals, until you lift the flap and open it to see the insulated storage section to store food and drink.  Although it isn't big enough to store a large lunch, the size is appropriate for a child's snacks or small meal.  You can take the paws of the pet and clip them closed for an easy way to carry the Lunch Pets or to attach it to a bag, chair, or bike handle.  Lunch Pets are super cute and quite functional.


Win It!

One person will win a Lunch Pets of choice.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

I received product for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Day Out With the Granddaughter

When my daughter got married, I was blessed with a bonus granddaughter.  As far as I'm concerned, Rahjae is my grand kid.  Last week she and I spent several hours together for some "girl time".


First, I took her to get her first haircut.  Yep, her first ever!  The girl is almost 13 years old and she's never stepped inside a salon.  Because she's biracial I couldn't have just any ole' person cutting her hair.  I found a gal at a local studio who was absolutely amazing.  Stylist was white girl but she knew her stuff!  It literally took 2.5 hours from beginning to end.  Because Rahjae's never had her hair cut before, it was a whole process from shampooing and conditioning and a full blowout to combing out all the rats and straightening the hair.  Then the cut took place.

Logan got drug into playing games with us.

I personally learned a lot about how to take care of biracial curly hair, and Rahjae walked away feeling like a whole new girl.  After that, we had Logan over to play UNO and then we treated ourselves to some Dairy Queen ice cream.

Simple memories, yet ones to treasure forever.

almost a teenager!

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 181

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash


I believe in a God that hears prayers and answers them. I've witnessed the miraculous gift of answered prayer. And, I want to pray for you. I've started weekly Power of Prayer post every Thursday. We are now on week 181. If you are needing prayer in an area of your life, please leave a comment and I'll commit to pray for your need or request. You can be as general or as specific as you like. Whether it be for healing, salvation, finances, emotions, or another area of life, I'd like to lift it up in prayer.

"We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus."
–Acts 15:11

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Ryan's World Partners With Colgate Kids - #ColgateSmile

Colgate is thrilled to share that they've have partnered with top YouTube toy reviewer and Nickelodeon star, Ryan’s World, for a new line of kid’s oral card products. Designed with the help of Ryan himself, the Colgate® Ryan’s World™ Kids Oral Care Regimen features three products including a Power Toothbrush, Toothpaste and Mouthwash to get little ones excited about brushing time. Details for each product include:

COLGATE® RYAN’S WORLD™ POWERED TOOTHBRUSH ($4.99): Make great cleaning fun with extra soft bristles that gently sweep away plague. For children three years of age and older.

COLGATE® RYAN’S WORLD™ TOOTHPASTE ($2.99): Clinically proven to protect enamel and prevent cavities. Available in Ryan’s Bubble Fruit flavor. For children two years and older.



COLGATE® RYAN’S WORLD™ MOUTHWASH ($3.99): Cleans whole mouth by sweeping away particles that brushing may have missed. Available in Ryan’s Bubble Fruit flavor. For children six years of age and older.

To learn more, check out Ryan’s latest video showcasing how the new collection came to be: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msAJOafpyW8
Are you familiar with Ryan's World?
Would your kids be excited to use these Colgate products?

I received products from Colagte in exchange for this post.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Minted: Save 30% on Back to School Essentials



Minted is a company known for unique art, stationery and home decor.  Save 30% off name labels, kids’ stationery, notebooks, calendars and photo gifts when you purchase Minted More with code BTSMORE19 at Minted.  Offer expires August 12, 2019.

This post contains affiliate links.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Fruit of the Loom: National Underwear Day BOGO Sale


For one day only, shoppers can stock up on their go-to FRUIT OF THE LOOM® underwear, perfect for back-to-school or simply as a way for shoppers to treat themselves this summer. 

In honor of National Underwear Day, Fruit of the Loom is offering fans an exclusive BOGO free deal on all underwear styles! Customers who make an underwear purchase on Fruit.com today, Aug. 5, will receive a free identical pack of underwear with the code “FREEUNDIES” at check-out.

The offer may only be used for up to five free identical products and cannot be combined with any other existing offers on Fruit.com.



I received no product or compensation for this post.  This post is in partnership with PR firm.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Fiber One Brownies: New Recipe, New Packaging


Fiber One Brownies had some work done, both with their recipe and their packaging.  The updated recipe includes 70 calories, 5g net carbs, and 2g of sugar, making it compatible with most modern diet trends.  Whether  you're calorie-counting or carb-conscious, Fiber One Brownies could be what you are looking for to satisfy a sweet craving.


Fiber One Brownies are available in six delicious flavors:

Chocolate Fudge
Birthday Cake
Cinnamon Coffee Cake
Mint Fudge
Chocolate Chip Cookie
Lemon

Fiber One Brownies are available at major grocers nationwide with an SRP of $3.89 for 6 ct. box.


Which flavor of Fiber One Brownies would you like to try?
Do you like the new packaging?

I received products for review from Fiber One.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Check It Out: Savings.com #HallmarkBTSSavings Giveaway

Win a $1000 back to school shopping spree!


Savings.com is giving away a $1000 back to school shopping spree to support their recent appearance on Hallmark Channel's Home & Family.  There will be one winner.  Giveaway ends on Friday, August 16th at 11:59 PM PT.

This post contains affiliate links.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Animal Owners: Good Sales Going On At Petmate

Visit Petmate.com

PetMate is passionate about pets and their families. As a worldwide leader of solutions and excellence in the pet industry for over 50 years, they’re committed to providing fun, trusted, quality products to enhance the lives of pets.  Check out these two sales going on through the month of August:

Code: WOOF
Offer:  20% Off All Orders, no min purchase required
Valid:  Through 8/31/19

Code: ZOOM
Offer:  Extra 25% Off All Sale Items, no min purchase required
Valid:  Through  8/31/19

This post contains affiliate links.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Hank's Twisted Challenge - Game Review


I like to have a collection of games on hand for when friends and family come over.  We enjoy the lively banter and friendly competition.  A new game added to my collection is Hank's Twisted Challenge.  I've played this game a few times, with the most recent being with my nieces and granddaughter.


With Hank's Twisted Challenge, each player is asked to twist, bend and turn your body in crazy ways while you race to get the ball off the end of a wire zigzagged and curved in insane forms. Whose moves will get the ball flying off first? Players can also take game play up a notch by using the challenge cards.  This game is for 1 to 4 players, with four ways to play - solo, head-to-head, relay or freestyle. 


Contents of game include:

6 wires
 4 Dishwasher safe mouth pieces
1 bend Shaper
 2 balls
1 spinner
 20 challenge cards
Instruction sheet


Players begin by taking a turn with the spinner and seeing what color of wire they need to use and what shape to make.  There's an illustrated chart that shows how to bend the wires into the requested shape.  Once the shape is created with the wire, the player inserts the wire into the mouthpiece and then places it in their mouth.  It's up to the player to get the ball from one end to the other using only their mouth.  You can twist and turn and contort yourself to move the ball from one end of the wire to the other end.  To make it more fun and challenging, players can draw a Challenge Card and follow instructions.  For instance, the player might have to put a finger in one of their ears or walk back and forth while trying to move the ball through the wire.


There's definitely a lot of laughs watching players wriggle and squirm their way to move the ball.  The longest part of the game is bending the wires into the shapes and trying to copy the illustrations on the chart as they're shown.  Some of them are harder than others.  If contorting your body with a wire in your mouth with epic hilarity is your idea of fun, then Hank's Twisted Challenge will be right up your alley! 


I received game for review from Wicked Cool Toys.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Check It Out: Mr. Owl's Birthday Giveaway



Too celebrate Mr. Owl's Birthday, Tootsie Roll is giving away prizes to ten lucky winners. If chosen, you'll get a 100 count box of Tootsie Pops shipped to your front door courtesy of Mr. Owl himself.
Follow the instructions on how to enter the giveaway. To increase your chances of winning, check your email for a unique link to share with your friends. If they enter through that unique link, you get an extra entry point. It's that easy. Winners will be announced on August 6th, 2019. Good luck!

This post contains a referral link.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Stovetop Taco Pasta - Recipe





My niece found this recipe circulating on Facebook and made some for her family.  I had a few bites and immediately knew I needed to make it for my peeps, with just a few tweaks. 




Ingredients

 1 box large shell macaroni

 1 tablespoon canola oil

 1 pound ground beef

 1 yellow onion diced

 2 tablespoons garlic salt
 2 tablespoons taco seasoning

 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

 3/4 cup water

 1 cup jarred salsa

 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese shredded

 Salt to taste

 Pepper to taste



Directions 

Cook the pasta according box directions, drain and set aside.

In the meantime, place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add oil. Once it starts sizzling add the ground beef and brown well.  Drain.

Add the onion;  stir and cook for 1 minute.
Add the taco seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Add 3/4 cup of water, stir and cook until water is gone.

Add the pasta to the pan. Add the salsa and cheese. Stir to combine.
Serve immediately.

Where's Waldo?: Exciting Expeditions - Book Review and Giveaway


Book Overview:

 Planning a vacation? Be sure to pack this compact compendium full of things to spot, story games to play, and puzzles to create, featuring the elusive Waldo and his wily friends. Want a creative challenge to boot? Check out the writing prompts for making up your own stories, plus bonus journal pages inviting you to record your own travel escapades and a creative story game with twenty-four cards. Move over, Waldo — there’s more than one intrepid traveler in town!

What did you do on vacation? Waldo’s latest travel-size collection features puzzles, searches, and prompts for writing about your own adventures.



Age Range: 5 - 9 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
Series: Where's Waldo?
Paperback: 72 pages
Publisher: Candlewick (February 12, 2019)


My Review:

If, by chance, you're not familiar with Waldo he is a male character who travels the world and blends in with crowds.  His trademark outfit includes blue pants, a red and white striped shirt and stocking hat, and glasses.  In the Where's Waldo? books, it's up to you to pick Waldo out from a crowded scene.  If you are familiar with Waldo, then you already know that it's not easy to spot Waldo among the backdrop.

Take your visual senses on a journey with Where's Waldo? Exciting Expeditions.  This book showcases Waldo on several adventures.  Not only is it up to you to find Waldo, it's also up to you to find many other objects within the settings.  For instance, you may be asked to search for a dog bone, a certain book, or a particular animal.  You can check off the box beside each item you find.  

Besides being on the hunt to find Waldo, other fun things within this travel-sized book are puzzles, games and activities.  You may be asked to spot ten differences between two pictures, write out an escape plan, or even write out what sea dwellers are thinking.  In addition, there's pages for someone to write out their own adventures by detailing where they went and what they saw there.  Cut-out cards hidden within the pockets at the front and back of the book create even more "find-it" fun.

This book will keep you busy for hours, and it definitely makes you use your noggin.  Because the book is smaller, the figures and pictures are on a more stunted scale.  It makes looking for specifics  more of a challenge.  But, otherwise, this is a book that will keep you entertained and engaged.

Win It!

One person will win Where's Waldo?: Exciting Expeditions.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the  USA.*

I received book for review from Candlewick Press.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wordful Wednesday - Annual Hall Family Reunion


It's been over a month since it happened but the Annual Hall Family Reunion was held and was a success.  It had actually been several years since a family reunion was held but my sister remedied that situation and started it back up again.  The first was held last year and we plan on keeping it an annual tradition, rather than let it die out again.

My Uncle BJ and my husband talking about something important, I'm sure.

The family reunion was held at a local campground's shelter house.  Everyone brought a dish and there was plenty to eat.  The olds mingled with the youngs and traded stories.  

Rahjae became the official Luau girl with all the leis

Although I didn't take pictures, a lot of people took advantage of the campground's pool.  
The older I get, the more important family is to me.  I enjoy getting together and conversing with those I grew up around and making memories with those younger than me.

Me and my mini-me.
The sun was out in full force so I got a lot of "squinty-eyed" photos.

Does your family have an annual family reunion?